Thursday, August 11, 2011

Melodrama At The Mall

                                                                                                 Julie Kemp Pick

"You can do it Mom, we're almost there," I tried to say calmly as we were in the middle of a crossfire between flying balls and leaping athletic shoes. She stopped several times, securely braking her walker to replenish her supply of snacks and liquids; fearless in the heat of danger. Finally she entered the car safely, unmarked yet compelled to reapply her lipstick.  A task that was more important than making sure her seat belt was on and both legs were traveling inside the vehicle. Our mission was to hunt down great deals for our boys before they headed back to school, and to find a present or two for my brother's upcoming birthday.

This was a special event as both our boys and their fun-loving uncle were with us. My brother and my older son hate to shop,  and until recently so did my younger son.  We didn't arrive at the outlet mall until after 5:00, so we had no time to waste. My brother is a fast shopper who quickly surveys one store and  moves on to the next. Then he and my older son would throw the softball around outside, while they were waiting for us.

My mom and younger son like to take their time  rummaging through every rack and shelf. Suddenly, he began to speed things up by ripping off his shirt in the middle of the aisle each time he tried something on. Then my job was to find his shirt which was usually lying on the middle of the floor.

At one point,  we couldn't agree on which stores to go to, so we all split up. Later I went to check on my mother who was in a boutique store a few doors down from us. I panicked when I couldn't find her, but then I saw her red head pop up. She was perfectly happy in this little store, while I was running back and forth checking on everyone.  Yes my boys are 20-something, but on this rare occasion they actually wanted my opinion.

After we closed down the joint, we went for a big dinner at one of the few restaurants that was open after 9:00 PM. We were all exhausted from our shopping trip where every boy walked away with a present. As I gazed around the dinner table, I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. I'm so thankful that they willingly participate in our silly family outings, and realize that these moments are really what matter in life.

They enjoy spending time talking about my mother's beauty shop schedule, almost as much as playing sports with my brother. I will miss them terribly when they go back to college and law school in a few days.  After all the years of attending their football, baseball, basketball, and wrestling events, it really meant a lot to me that they participated in my favorite sport.


  1. Sounds like a very chaotic but fun-loving time. This was nicely written, Julie.
    I'm glad you had this time before the kids depart for school.

  2. How cool is three generations on a shopping trip? I hope a commerative photo was taken, preferably one with shirts flying in the air and lipstick being applied.

  3. Enjoy your son who likes to shop. Most of us men hate it!

  4. This sounds like such a special trip. I'm glad you had this time with your boys before they go back to school, I can imagine how much you will miss them. Lovely story, Julie! :)

  5. Aw, how lovely that they take part in your sport! Sounds like you've got a fantastic family.

  6. This makes me smile! We had to go pick out a backpack for my new kindergartner and it was just so much fun. Although the pack he picked is so big it makes him look like a small tortoise. Letting go is hard.

  7. What a beautiful story. Family is so important, and sometimes I tend to forget that when things get crazy.

    Happy Weekend!

  8. Sounds like a fun shopping trip. Funny that it is your favorite sport. Great memories.

  9. Sounds like the bonding was more important that the shopping. How wonderful that your sons seem to enjoy sharing your "sport" with you.

  10. @Robyn - We did end up having a great time! Thanks Robyn!

    @Yvonne - I couldn't have said it better myself!

    @Delores - Where were you when I needed you? Unfortunately, we were all too exhausted to take a picture!

    @Alex - Wise words from a wise man!

    @Julie - Their breaks just always seem to fly by so quickly, so I'm glad we were able to do some things together! Thanks Julie!

    Thanks Tonja!

    @Talli - We all have our moments, but for the most part we're very lucky! Thanks Talli!

    @Julie F. - I'm sure he's a cute tortoise! Enjoy these moments because they really do grow up so fast. I agree that letting go is hard.

    @Carol - We always forget from time to time! We wouldn't appreciate the good times, if we didn't have to get through the crazy ones. Have a great weekend too! Thanks Carol!

    @Rhonda - Sometimes the simplest things do turn into the best memories. Thanks Rhonda!

    @Susan - You hit the nail on the head! I think they've had enough "bonding" to last them at least through the semester! Thanks Susan!


  11. Shopping would be much more fun if it didn't involve money.


  12. Family are fabulous, aren't they! They're your best friends and I've just given you an award along those lines on my blog (I can see I'm not the first this week either!)

  13. That sounds like a really fun if not crazy shopping trip. It's good you have such a great rapport with your family...these are the memories you shall treasure.

  14. Ah yes, I recall those days of back-to-school shopping. I tried to dress my daughters so well and if I must say I think they always looked pretty darn good. I don't know if they always appreciated the things I picked out for them, but I let them have their say if they wanted. At least Daddy cared enough to do some careful clothes shopping. No more shopping now that they're grown. I glad I don't have to do it anymore, but it was nice while it lasted.

    Tossing It Out

  15. What a cool story, and well told. I think I need to show this to my teenage son, who is going through "that stage."

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. @Tonja - Thanks so much for the Liebster award! It really means a lot to me!

    @Joyce - That would make shopping a lot more fun!

    @Rosalind - I agree, and I really appreciate how supportive you've been! Thanks for honoring me with this special award!

    @Michael - Thanks for finding me, and for the kind words! I just read your wonderful blog and look forward to seeing more of you!

    @Lee - It's even more meaningful when dad takes time out to shop for his daughters!

    @Bryce - Mine both went through "that stage" but now they care more about their appearance. It also helped that we were were out of state at the time! Julie

  17. So nice that you could enjoy some family time before they go back to school. My first will be going to college in a couple of years and I'm not looking forward to it.

  18. kmckendry, It will be tough, but you'll get through it when the time comes. Thanks for visiting me and I look forward to seeing more of you! Julie

  19. A day at the mall is as good a workout as a day at the gym. When I lived in Minneapolis, I used to shop Mall of America. OMG..... walk walk walk. What a delightful family you have.


  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Manzie, we did get a good workout in! I've never been to Mall of America, but it's on my list of places to visit. Thanks Manzie!